Y-12 National Security Complex Historian Ray Smith is retiring. Smith said he has been at Y-12 for 47 years, and he is retiring November 22.
Besides being Y-12 historian, Smith is also City of Oak Ridge historian and history columnist for The Oak Ridger newspaper, where he writes “Historically Speaking.” In 2012, he testified during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on the legislation to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which includes Oak Ridge; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington.
Smith has been Y-12 historian for about 10 years. He has also been a maintenance manager at Y-12.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed it,” Smith said this week.
After an overseas trip in August, Smith said he wants to travel with his wife Fanny.
“Fanny and I went to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, and that made my decision,” Smith said.
Smith, who is a Vietnam veteran, said he will continue to write and be the Oak Ridge historian. He is vice president of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association, and he was recently appointed to the Tennessee Historical Commission. He is a local leader helping to preserve the city’s history. He was friends with Bill Wilcox, the previous city historian who wrote a history of the former K-25 site that has been published posthumously with help from family members, Smith, and the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association.